Novak Djokovic calls himself a ‘frog’ and Andrey Rublev a ‘snake’ claiming the Russian suffocated him during their intense Paris Masters semis

Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov in the final of Paris Masters on Sunday.


Novak Djokovic calls himself a ‘frog’ and Andrey Rublev a ‘snake’ claiming the Russian suffocated him during their intense Paris Masters semis

Novak Djokovic after his semi final encounter against Andrey Rublev at the Paris Masters (Image via : Tennis TV)

24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic is well on his way to a record-extending 7th title win at the Paris Masters as he got the better of 5th seed Andrey Rublev in the semi-final of the tournament at Accor Arena in Paris on Saturday. Djokovic, 1st seed, defeated the Russian 5-7, 7-6 (3) 7-5 in just over 3 hours to reach his 58th Masters final. This was Djokovic’s fourth consecutive victory against the Russian and the third this year.

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The 1st seed remarked in the post-match interview:

Rublev was suffocating me like a snake suffocates a frog for most of the match. He was playing at an extremely high level. I knew he possessed a great quality, but today he played off the charts. I don’t think I’ve ever faced Rublev this good.

Although Djokovic was quick off the blocks, breaking Rublev’s serve in the opening game of the match, the Serb lost his momentum as the set went on. A string of unforced errors from the 36-year-old handed the Russian no.2 the first set. The Serb seized the initiative in the second tie break to take the match to a decider, his 3rd in as many days at the tournament.

Before the start of a third set, the Serb took a medical time out as he received treatment on his lower back. The World No.1 broke Rublev’s serve at 6-5 in the third set to take the match. The Russian was livid with himself, smashing his racquet on the court, as he double-faulted on match point to hand Djokovic his 9th semi-final win in as many appearances at Bercy.

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When asked what he was most proud of during his week in Paris, Djokovic said:

 I have been going through quite a difficult stomach virus that really made me feel terrible the past three days, but somehow managing to find strength, find energy under the adrenaline rush of playing a match. Not giving up, fighting and believing that I can come back, which happened again and hopefully it can happen tomorrow.

Novak Djokovic to face Grigor Dimitrov in the final of Paris Masters

Standing in the way of Novak Djokovic and a record-extending 7th title at the Paris Masters and 40th Masters title overall is Bulgarian pro Grigor Dimitrov. The World No.17 arrives into the clash in red-hot form on the back of wins against several high-profile players.

Dimitrov defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-7(1), 7-6(3) on Saturday to reach his second Masters final and first since 2017. With the win, Dimitrov improved his live ATP ranking to No. 14 and will reach No.12 if he wins the title.

Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov
Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov (Image via :- @TheTennisLetter / ‘X’)

Djokovic leads the head-to-head 11-1 with their most recent clash coming in the second round of Rome Masters earlier this year. Dimitrov has beaten 4 top 10 players in the last month and seems to be back to his best self. The Bulgarian pro edged past Daniil Medvedev, who leads the tour in hard-court wins this year, in the second round.

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